KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
Founded in 1787, Marylebone Cricket Club is the most active and famous cricket club in the world and owner of Lord's Cricket Ground - the Home of Cricket.
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MCC welcomed 600 school children to the Home of Cricket on Tuesday 25 June for its first ever Spirit of Cricket Open Day.
The primary school kids from Chance to Shine schools around the country - as well as locally in Westminster - had the rare opportunity to play on the famous Lord's outfield.
Away from cricket they took part in educational classes including poster design lessons and cookery lessons.
They were cheered on by former England bowler and 2005 Ashes winner Matthew Hoggard, while broadcaster Mark Nicholas delivered a special MCC Spirit of Cricket Assembly in front of the Pavilion, assisted by England Women star Caroline Atkins and watched on by Minister for Sport and Tourism, Hugh Robertson MP.
The day broke new ground for the Club
Areas of the Ground usually reserved for MCC Members were overrun by excited children from 20 schools, who filled the Pavilion Concourse in the morning and had the chance to play 'tapeball' cricket on the Lord's Real Tennis Court.
MCC Chief Executive & Secretary Derek Brewer described the day as a 'fantastic success'.
He added: "The day broke new ground for the Club, which has never before thrown open the Lord’s gates in such a way to so many school children at one time.
"It was wonderful to see the pupils enjoy the range of cricketing and educational opportunities across the Ground, and I am sure that they will remember the day for a very long time."
In 2013, around 400,000 children in just under 4,000 Chance to Shine schools will be introduced to the key MCC Spirit of Cricket messages enshrined in the Laws of the game, as a result of the MCC/Chance to Shine partnership.
There are three core elements to the partnership: communicating the MCC Spirit of Cricket message to children within schools through special assemblies and lessons, organising intra school competitions and holding an MCC Spirit of Cricket Open Day at Lord’s.
Hoggard said it was great to see so many children enjoying their day at Lord's. He addded: "They [the kids] are very lucky to be here and it's amazing to see that state schools are given more options these days, and especially with the great game of cricket."
As part of the scheme, Chance to Shine coaches will deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket message as part of the core Chance to Shine programme. MCC and Chance to Shine have produced a special MCC Spirit of Cricket online DVD resource for school assemblies that cover key aspects of the MCC Spirit of Cricket.
Each Chance to Shine school will also be provided with a replica Ashes Urn and stickers to support intra school competition. This allows children to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom. Pupils’ fair play will be recognised and rewarded at the school sessions.
Children also have the chance to compete for their very own Ashes Urn as 1,500 replica urns are distributed to Chance to Shine schools around the country thanks to the partnership with MCC.
A day to remember